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Is Religiosity of Immigrants a Bridge or a Buffer in the Process of Integration? A Comparative Study of Europe and the United States

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Author Info

  • García Muñoz, Teresa

    ()
    (Universidad de Granada)

  • Neuman, Shoshana

    ()
    (Bar-Ilan University)

Abstract

This study reviews and evaluates the intertwined relationship between immigration and religiosity, focusing on the two sides of the Atlantic – Europe and the United States. Based on the existing literature and on a statistical analysis of several data sets (the International Social Survey Program – ISSP: Module Religion, 2008; the European Social Survey – ESS, waves 2002-2010; and the General Social Survey – GSS, waves 2002-2010) the following aspects are explored: (i) the current religious landscape of Europe and of the United States and projections for the future; (ii) religiosity of immigrants (in Europe and the United States): are they more religious than the native populations (in terms of church attendance and of prayer habits)?; (iii) how does religiosity of immigrants affect integration: is it serving as a bridge that smoothens integration into the local population, or as a buffer against the harsh integration process?; and (iv) are the intersections between religiosity and integration different in Europe and in the United States, due to historical differences in the state-religion relationship, immigration policies and concepts? The main findings are the following: (a) immigrants are indeed more religious than the populations in the receiving countries. This fact, combined with higher fertility rates and also a continued inflow of immigrants, will lead to major changes in the religious landscape, both in Europe and in the United States; and (b) while in the united States religiosity of immigrants serves as a bridge between the immigrants and the local population, in Europe it has mainly the function of a buffer and of "balm to the soul".

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6384.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6384

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Keywords: United States; religion; integration; immigration; Europe;

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References

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  1. Alberto Dávila & Marie Mora, 2005. "Changes in the earnings of Arab men in the US between 2000 and 2002," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 587-601, November.
  2. Ronen Bar-El & Teresa García-Muñoz & Shoshana Neuman & Yossef Tobol, 2010. "The Evolution of Secularization: Cultural Transmission, Religion and Fertility Theory, Simulations and Evidence," Working Papers 2010-10, Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University.
  3. Bisin, Alberto & Patacchini, Eleonora & Verdier, Thierry & Zenou, Yves, 2007. "Are Muslim Immigrants Different in Terms of Cultural Integration?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6453, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Anne Goujon & Katrin Fliegenschnee & Pawel Strzelecki & Vegard Skirbekk, 2007. "New times, old beliefs: Projecting the future size of religions in Austria," Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, vol. 5(1), pages 237-270.
  5. Neuman, Shoshana, 1999. "Aliyah to Israel: Immigration under Conditions of Adversity," IZA Discussion Papers 89, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Christian Dustmann & Tommaso Frattini, 2012. "Immigration: The European Experience," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2012001, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
  7. Pablo BraÒas-Garza & Shoshana Neuman, 2004. "Analyzing Religiosity within an Economic Framework: The Case of Spanish Catholics," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 2(1), pages 5-22, 03.
  8. Chiswick, Carmel U., 2003. "Immigrant Religious Adjustment: An Economic Approach to Jewish Migrations," IZA Discussion Papers 863, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Lozano, Fernando A. & Steinberger, Michael D., 2010. "Empirical Methods in the Economics of International Immigration," IZA Discussion Papers 5328, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Aleksynska, Mariya & Chiswick, Barry R., 2011. "Religiosity and Migration: Travel into One's Self versus Travel across Cultures," IZA Discussion Papers 5724, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Edward C. Norton & Hua Wang & Chunrong Ai, 2004. "Computing interaction effects and standard errors in logit and probit models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(2), pages 154-167, June.
  12. Neeraj Kaushal & Robert Kaestner & Cordelia Reimers, 2007. "Labor Market Effects of September 11th on Arab and Muslim Residents of the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 42(2).
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